I Just Don’t Know

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Oftentimes, decisions are not easy to make. However, for those of us who struggle with anxiety, decisions or opportunities that seem like they should be easy to make or go for, oftentimes seem extremely hard for us. For example, take going to church. I used to go all the time when I was younger. However, I first stopped going after an incident happened. I still struggled with anxiety when the “incident” happened, but I had found a way to go to church and feel comfortable. However, the priest at the time that was there, was quite rude and after he said something to my mom and I that was less than kind, I stopped going.

By the time I started going to church again, my anxiety had become worse. This wasn’t due to the incident, however, but rather because my anxiety had just worsened over time in general. Because of this, I haven’t gone to church in a while. I think the whole thing makes me anxious for a lot of reasons. For one thing, while I hate to say this, church isn’t always the most exciting thing. I have tried to pay attention in the past so that I could keep my mind off of my anxiety and well, be a good Catholic, but it wasn’t always easy. Also, while I don’t have a huge problem with crowds in general, being anxious and being around a lot of people isn’t always easy.

Another issue I have with going to church is that if you have to leave, that’s not always easy. Even if you get an end seat, you feel like you’re causing a distraction (for the record that’s kind of what the “incident” had to do with). Lastly, while I love her, my mom isn’t very patient when it comes to my anxiety and she’s the one that would be taking me to church. If I got anxious and wanted to go home, I don’t think that would go over well.

Why am I bringing all of this up? My mom asked me today if I’d like to try to start going back to church. To be honest, a part of me wouldn’t mind trying. Not only is this because I don’t exactly hate church, but also because it would help me practice facing my anxiety. However, a part of me feels extremely anxious to try to go back to church.

My mom told me that the church now has chairs that I’d feel more comfortable sitting in, but there are still a lot of factors that cause me to worry about possibly going again. I just don’t know what to do. If anyone has any suggestions or has experienced something like this, please feel free to let me know!

27 Replies to “I Just Don’t Know”

  1. I don’t know. When I lived in my old town, I was really anxious to go shopping – because I’d seen some of the girls that made my life miserable and they’d say or do something. So I stopped going. I understand what you’re saying …. I just don’t know how to solve this one. My anxiety about that situation only got better after we left the town, if that makes sense, and that isn’t really an option for you (not the way it was for me – which is something my husband and I had always planned on doing anyway). I’m not sure, I’m sorry. I just wanted to give you virtual hugs and say I’m here for you.

  2. I have never been in a church but I do have social anxiety so I can at least try to offer you some advice. If possible sit at the back near a door in case you need to leave and maybe just go to the church a couple of times when a service is not being held and get used to sitting g in your seat. Sorry if this isn’t much use but I don’t go to church so I wasn’t too sure Xx

  3. Are these chairs near the back? I was just wondering if you would be able to sit near the door, so if you did need to make an early exit you would feel you weren’t disturbing anyone by leaving. Would your mother let you keep hold of the car key (I’m assuming you go by car) so at least you can then go sit in the car.
    I think it’s GREAT that you’re thinking about facing this anxiety causing situation. I really do. It’s a big step forward just thinking about it! My experience is that things very rarely turn out to be as bad as you think they’ll be.
    Sort out an easy exit strategy, somewhere where you can go to stay safe while your mom stays in the service if you do need to escape is my advice. Please do go if you can next Sunday. You will feel on top of the world on Monday!

    1. The chairs are near the back. I can’t drive but I think that going to the car would make me feel better (except depending on if and when I got anxious, sitting in the car the whole time might be hard).

      Thanks for your advice and encouragement. I’m not sure if I’ll try to go this Sunday but maybe the one after. Thank you again for your thoughtful post. 🙂

  4. I liked this post, I feel anxiety all the time. I just wanted to say that, although I’m not Catholic, I don’t think if you go to church it’ll make you a better Catholic. Especially if you find it boring. If that preacher was rude, I wouldn’t go. Especially since you are supposed to be nice according to the bible, so he doesn’t even follow what he’s saying. Remember, God will love you no matter even if you don’t go to church or pray. Anyways, the decision is yours, but my advice is, don’t go if you don’t want to.

    1. I’m glad you liked my post, Kaitlyn. I also believe that God doesn’t love anyone more or less whether or not they go to church. In fact, I don’t think that whether you go to church or not makes you a better or worse Catholic either.

      I also agree that the priest who said I was “distracting” was rude. However, he has since switched parishes so that is no longer an issue. The main reason I want to go to church is to practice facing my anxiety. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt to go since I do like listening to some sermons. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Also, you have a beautiful name!

      1. Thank you for the compliment! I’m glad you’re facing your anxiety and that you like listening to sermons. I really want to go to church but unfortunately my mom won’t take me. 😦 If it’s okay to ask for your advice it would be much appreciated. Thanks and I like your post!!

      2. Yes, she just is against religion, in the slightest way. I told her but she said she can’t. And she is off on Sundays. I even have a few friends there but she doesn’t trust the preacher.

      3. Does your mom have good reason not to trust the preacher?

        Maybe you could kindly explain to your mother that just like she wouldn’t want someone pushing religion on her, you don’t like the idea of her stopping you from experiencing new things such as religion. Maybe your mom could just drop you off and go somewhere else or if she doesn’t want to leave you at church alone, she could stay outside or in a part of the church where she doesn’t have to listen to the sermon.

      4. I asked her to drop me off at the church and my friend will watch out for me. She doesn’t trust the preacher because he went to jail for 7 years for robbery. In jail, he found God and a few years later, he taught at the church. But you should have seen him lead the prayers, he was really into it. I asked him for advice and he could recite the bible by heart. Plus, he will never be alone with the kids because their are two other preachers. I told her this but I know she is against church and is using that as an excuse. How do you suppose I should convince her?

      5. You’re welcome. Maybe you could also explain that you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity like learning about God. I’m sure there are tons of opportunities that your mom would have hated to miss out on.

  5. I think sitting toward the back of the church would offer you an easy opportunity to slip out if you begin to feel uncomfortable. Please update us on your decision. Best of luck. IN the end, whatever you decide is the right choice for YOU.

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